The abbey was founded in 1153 as a daughter house of Seelau Abbey by Ekbert and Ulrich of Pernegg and settled by canons from Seelau. Geras Abbey was able to survive the reforms of the Emperor Joseph II and the consequent monastery closures of 1783, and remains in operation to this day.
In 1953 the church was given the title of Papal basilica.
In Pernegg, about 10 kilometres from Geras, Ekbert and Ulrich of Pernegg, the founders of Geras Abbey, also founded Pernegg Abbey, a Premonstratensian nunnery which was also a daughter house of Seelau Abbey.
Pernegg Abbey became a community of monks in 1584. It was dissolved in 1783, when the premises were acquired by Geras Abbey. Since 1995 they have been used as a retreat and seminar centre for the monastery at Geras.
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